The US, Russia and China possess this anti-satellite missile technology, but they do not want any other nation to develop this capability.
Soon after India tested the A-SAT the response from the three countries which already have this technology has not only been cautious but subdued too in their reaction.
Sharing his views with Financial Express Online, former Indian ambassador to the US Arun Singh, says, “After our ASAT test on March 27, US spoke of “strong strategic partnership with India”, and continuing to “pursue shared interests in space and scientific and technical cooperation”.
According to him, this was a far cry from its pre -1998 criticisms of India’s missile and nuclear programs. “US has also worked successfully for inclusion of India in multilateral export control regimes such as MTCR, Australia Group, and Wassenaar Arrangement. These are indicative of the growing strategic convergence, especially in the context of the Indo-Pacific, even though differences remain on economic issues, and on next steps in Afghanistan,” adds Singh.
The US, Russia and China possess this anti-satellite missile technology, but they do not want any other nation to develop this capability. “The fact that India has tested this technology, it takes away their exclusivity and technological superiority in somewhat limited way,” says Prof Rajan Kumar, JNU.
Expressing his views, the Eurasia expert Kumar says “That India’s anti-satellite missile test was an important technological achievement has been confirmed by even Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defence. This has raised serious concerns among the countries which possess this technology exclusively.”
Citing several reasons about the guarded responses from US and Russia, Kumar says : These countries fear that this would accelerate an arms race in the region; second, it would lead to the weaponization of space; third, this has the potential to change the strategic balance in the region as India will have the capability to strike the military and communication satellites of Pakistan pre-emptively; fourth, the development of an anti-missile defence system will be the next step for India; and finally, regional rivalries among China, India and Pakistan will intensify and reach the outer space.
US, Russia and China are mulling the possibilities of space non-proliferation technology. With a new entrant, they will have to consider India in such negotiations. There is also a fear that China might provide this technology to Pakistan to help her establish parity with India.
While Russia favours legally binding agreements to prevent the weaponization of the outer space, and blames the US for the accelerating arms race and undermining international security architecture by withdrawing from most of the disarmament and arms-control treaties. The US is keen on developing and deploying anti-missile defence system in several parts of the world which is undermining the security and strategic balance in several regions,” Kumar explains.
The US reaction to India’s A-Sat test was mild with officials claiming it was as close to an endorsement as was possible. In a statement, the US State Department said they “saw PM Modi’s statement that announced India’s anti-satellite test. As part of our strong strategic partnership with India, we will continue to pursue shared interests in space and scientific and technical cooperation, including collaboration on safety and security in space.”
In an official statement from Kremlin, Russia has highlighted “the non-directedness” of the anti-satellite weapons test conducted by India against any specific country and New Delhi’s reassurance of continuance of foreign policy to prevent the deployment of weapons in outer space.
“We highlight the non-directedness of this test against any specific country declared by the Indian leadership, as well as the reassurance of the continuity of New Delhi foreign policy to prevent the deployment of weapons in outer space and thereby the development of an arms race in it,” the statement said.
Russia also said this action of India has been largely the result of the substantially “degraded situation” in the field of arms control.
The statement has also pointed out that Russia has repeatedly warned that the “destructive actions” of the US to undermine the entire architecture of international security and strategic stability, including unilateral and unlimited development of the US global anti-missile defense systems, as well as the reluctance to abandon plans for the weaponisation of outer space, make other states think about improving their own equal potentials in the interests of strengthening their national security.
The Kremlin statement has urged Washington to take a responsible stand, “come to senses and drop the insane, and most importantly – absolutely unrealizable – the idea of universal military domination. It is still possible to stop the arms race unfolding in various regions of the world. It is important to assist the responsible states in maintaining an adequate level of international security and stability.”
Russia said for its part, it intends to continue to make every necessary effort to prevent an arms race in outer space.